2024 Annual Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Awards Ceremony

1000 Maine Ave SW #400, DC March 12, 2024 11:30am – 1:00pm

The International Republican Institute (IRI) established the award to honor Dr. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, a long-time IRI board member and supporter of the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN). Dr. Kirkpatrick was the first woman appointed to serve as Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations. In this role she was a key member of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet and National Security Council.

Dr. Kirkpatrick was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in May 1985, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal by the Department of Defense, in December 1992. Her stellar career in foreign policy is an inspiration to women around the world and to the work we do at IRI.

The 2024 award will be presented to Elena Larrinaga de Luis and Berta Valle.


Elena Larrinaga de Luis has a long history of working for human rights and democracy in Cuba. In 2007, she founded and was elected President of the Spanish Federation of Cuban Associations (FECU). Larrinaga de Luis collaborated on numerous projects and hosted dissidents detained in the 2003 Black Spring, who were arrested and sentenced under Fidel Castro’s government. Additionally, she served as president of the Association of the Ladies in White and its representative in Europe. Over the past decade, Larrinaga de Luis has played a crucial role in enhancing women’s participation in civil society movements in Cuba. She has actively worked to combat gender-based violence and empower Cuban women to establish businesses and achieve economic growth. Currently, Elena serves as the Executive Director of the Cuban Women’s Network, a platform dedicated to defending the rights of Cuban women.

Berta Valle is a Nicaraguan journalist, television presenter, human rights activist, and member of the steering committee of the World Democracy Movement. She is also a fellow of Oslo Freedom Forum and a long-standing member of the Nicaraguan independent media. Valle was nominated as a legislative representative for the Partido Liberal Independiente as part of the National Coalition for Democracy. Since 2019, she has led the Voces en Libertad initiative, providing space and visibility to over 30 independent media outlets in Nicaragua that face repression and censorship. Valle and her family have been denationalized, becoming stateless de facto, as the regime prohibits their return to Nicaragua.

Up ArrowTop